Saturday 17 July 2021

Cleburne City, Texas bans the feeding of stray cats

CLEBURNE CITY, TEXAS-NEWS AND COMMENT: Well, this is a very big step by a city council. To ban the feeding of stray cats in the city under the law is a rare move by a city council. Other city councils in America have thought about it but these proposed laws rarely get past the debating stage because they are inherently cruel. 

Cleburne City, Texas bans the feeding of stray cats
 Cleburne City, Texas bans the feeding of stray cats. Photo of Cleburne in the public domain.

They are cruel because in many cities there are volunteers who care for stray and feral cats under TNR programs. TNR programs incorporate feeding. If you stop feeding the cats you stop TNR programs and then you are left with more feral cats because they procreate. And the feral and stray cat starve because they are used to being fed. These are the negative aspects to this sort of law.

They've introduced a law because they claim that when you feed feral cats, they produce more kittens and it attracts animals to the area. Comment: this argument seems weak because of the reasons I've mentioned above namely that feeding is part of a TNR program and TNR prevents creation of litters of cats. Secondly, if you put food down for a set period of time and then take it up promptly you minimize the problem of the food attracting wild animals. Therefore, that objection can be dealt with.

I don't have any more substantive information about this law, sadly. The news media refer to the feeding of stray cats in Hulen Park. The city council want to stop it. There is no information on the Cleburne Animal Shelter Facebook webpage about this. The law has been passed into effect and I would expect that there is somebody in Cleburne carrying out a TNR program and feeding feral cats who is going to be very upset.

In the past, in other local jurisdictions I've seen volunteers become highly upset because they see these sorts of laws as causing feral cats to starve. Sometimes volunteers have been feeding stray and feral cats for many years which results in a colony of cats who are dependent on being fed. Stop it and it is a cruel act.

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